Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Riehlife Interview with Velda Brotherton, author “Fly with the Mourning Dove”

Velda Brotherton author of “Fly with the Mourning Dove”

Velda Brotherton, originally from Winslow, Arkansas has been writing fiction and non fiction for 20 years. She studied her craft through workshops and mentored by other writers. Velda is a little like my father, in that the formal education for both ended at high school graduation--in a day when that was solid schooling. Both have persued a lifelong learning program and an education of the heart. Velda married at 17 and stuck with her man. She is doing what she absolutely wants to do in life. She rates her success by rating the happiness that success brings to her and her family's lives.

Velda's idea of happiness: "Listening to my children, grandchildren and the baby interact while burgers cook on the grill and a breeze cools the summer evening. The sound of my husband's voice when he tells me about his latest fishing adventure. A dark night falling asleep to the stillness of a country evening. And someone letting me know they enjoyed something I wrote and that they feel the better for it."

Learn more about Velda Brotherton at and follow the link below to Amazon for information on "Fly with the Mourning Dove."

In her most recent book, "Fly with the Mourning Dove," set in 1920, six-year-old Edna accompanies her parents to New Mexico to homestead 640 acres. Her father, a tuberculosis victim, hopes to restore his health while doing what he loves: running a ranch. This is the story of a family’s struggle to tame an arid land and remain together while a disease ravages one of its members. It is the story of a small child who grows to love the stark and beautiful high desert country even as her parents struggle against adversity. Today Edna oversees ranches in the Tusas River Valley of New Mexico and the San Juan Valley of Colorado. At the age of ninety-two, she visits her beloved Tusas whenever she can. --JGR


Riehlife: Velda, what is your mission?

VB: To give enjoyment and inspiration to my readers and to mentor young hopeful writers.

Riehlife: What are your hopes and dreams?

VB: Long range, I'd like to write a best seller that sells to a film maker. My short range goal is to finish the book I'm working on and promote "Fly with the Mourning Dove," the one that was just published, and have them sell well.

Having just become a great-grandmother, I'd like to be able to give my great-grandson enough wisdom to help him grow into a fine young man.

Riehlife: How will you do all that?

VB: By continuing to study my craft, learn more and more all the time about writing, teaching and promoting. And spend as much time as I can with my great-grandson.

Riehlife: And in 5 years? 10 years?

VB: I hope to continue to write until they pry my cold fingers off the keyboard. Though it's a wonderful thing to do, I don't want to be caught sitting in a rocking chair knitting booties anytime soon.

Riehlife: Your writing is often lyrical. Does beauty inspire you?

VB: Yes. A sunrise, the moon casting dancing shadows across the pasture below our deck, the song of the creek, the fragrance of honesuckle and lilacs on a warm spring evening...all these things inspire me.

Riehlife: The world is in a sorry pickle and I know you pray that these wounds can be healed and a right path trod. What are some of the things you've done to nudge things along?

VB: I've volunteered for many community programs for elders, crafts, and literacy along the way. Now I trust that some of my inspirational writing helps someone in need of hope and faith.

Riehlife: How would a good friend describe you?

VB: "She laughs too loud, but her smile is contagious, and she thinks she knows more than she does."

Riehlife: Are religious or spiritual beliefs a vital part of your life?

VB: Most certainly. I'm not necessarily a fan of organized religion, but I have a strong faith in powers beyond mine. I firmly believe that we have have a spirit within us that guides us through the prickly maze of life.

Riehlife:Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about you?

VB: When I was young I was spoiled. I had my children too young and wasn't as good a mother as I've been a grandmother. My family has been patient with me as I learn to set a better example in my older years.

I'd rather walk barefoot in green grass than shop at the mall.

I'd rather swim in a creek than sit in a hot tub.

My idea of an ideal weekend is sitting in the sun, swimming a while, writing and reading, grilling fresh caught trout and watching a movie.

I'm an avid movie fan, and often say they invented the DVD for me because I don't have to go to town to see my favorites.

And I'm a good writer trying my best to get better. That's me in a nutshell.

Riehlife: Velda, these sound like the beignnings for your "Eight Random Fact Memes" which we'll be discussing on Riehlife tomorrow.

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5 Responses »

  1. You're book sounds wonderful! And to have the story span from childhood to oldage...and to have it be set in New Mexico! I've heard that the desert is often the scene of spiritual struggle and awakening.

  2. Hi Velda,
    Such wisdom comes through in your interview! I look forward to reading "Dove" for all the reasons Steffie mentioned and because I've spent so much time in the high desert country. Awakening before dawn at Chaco and walking out into the desert to feel a part of the Ancestors...magical! I look forward to your words!

  3. Velda comes across as real person. In an age when so much is artificial and contrived she really expresses herself and her love for simple pleasures in a way that makes readers want to hear what she has to say. I can't wait to read her new book!

  4. That a great interview! Velda, we need to have a Monthly Read with you at the Women Writing the West reading group, don't we? So many good books in the group, so little time!

  5. She is a very wise person and I always enjoy everything she writes. I also know she put her writing on a back burner to raise my brother and I and one of the best moments of my life was when she showed me her first published book. Thanks mom I love you

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